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Burning the midnight oil? Is it Insomnia or sleep deprivation?

Are you not able to sleep or not sleeping? Similar as both may sound, they are on the opposite spectrum of not getting enough sleep.



We often make the mistake of underestimating the importance of sleep in our day-to-day functioning. Getting a proper 7-9 hours of sleep works wonders for your physical, mental, and emotional health.


Lack of sleep has become a recurring modern-day problem because of several causes, some of which are increasing stress levels, hectic lifestyles, indulgence in binge-watching shows, and scrolling through social media late at night.


Just like your phone needs to be charged so that the battery doesn’t die out, your body needs sleep to charge itself. While sleeping, the body repairs itself in many ways, both physically and mentally.


Your muscles repair themselves after going through the whole day of wear and tear, your brain works to process what you went through during the whole day.


However, there are many who are not being able to get enough sleep. Simply put, this is either because they don’t sleep enough because of external circumstances like work or because they have difficulties sleeping even though they have the opportunity for it. The former is known as sleep deprivation, while the latter is insomnia.



Sleep deprivation


In sleep deprivation, a person could be sleepy, but they are not sleeping enough. This condition can be caused by several factors. The person may not have the opportunity to sleep enough, possibly because of a hectic lifestyle, such as working late-night shifts.


On the other hand, they may choose to compromise on their sleep and indulge in late-night activities such as watching movies or partying. Other causes also include intake of caffeine in the later hours of the evening and even medical reasons which stop a person from sleeping enough, such as sleep apnea or overthinking while lying down in bed due to anxiety.


Insomnia


Insomnia is a sleep disorder. Even after wanting to go to sleep and having ample opportunity to do so, a person struggles with falling asleep, has disturbed and interrupted sleep, and sometimes wakes up too early and can’t go back to sleep. It is common for them to get frustrated while lying down in bed, tossing and turning to fall asleep.


Insomnia is caused by medical or mental health conditions, family genetics, excessive stress, poor sleeping habits, late work schedules and stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol.

Effects of improper and insufficient sleep


Whether you are sleep deprived or struggling with insomnia, the result is a lack of sleep. Improper and insufficient sleep affects both your sleeping and waking hours. Some common effects of improper sleep are:


  • Feeling tired and sleepy throughout the day

  • Negative thoughts and low energy

  • Irritability, depression, and anxiety

  • Not being able to focus

  • Problems with memory and attention


How to deal with lack of sleep


The mental and physical problems that are brought about by a lack of sleep need to be dealt with before they become a hindrance in your day-to-day functioning.


  1. Set a sleeping schedule and stick to it. If you want to indulge in late-night activities, set aside a day from the week and follow a definite sleeping pattern for the rest of the day.

  2. Start meditating. It quiets your mind and body and is known to improve your sleep quality.

  3. Manage your time better. Try to finish off your work responsibilities, leisure activities, and meals by a reasonable time so that you have an hour to yourself before going to bed to relax your mind and body.

  4. Reduce your caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake; don’t have coffee, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and cigarettes during the evenings.

  5. Stay physically active throughout the day and avoid taking naps so that you’re tired by the end of the day.


Consulting a doctor gets necessary to get the right diagnosis. But let’s be real- they are expensive. No worries! Kenko Health Family Plan offers you and your family discounts on doctor consultations, medicines, and lab tests. Get the Kenko Health app to avail the best medical benefits!

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